Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 1913 -- Close to 300 Homicides in 1912

January 1, 1913 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune begins 1913 with this headline, “Murders Spread as Police Fail.”  The city coroner reports that through December 1, 1912 there were 287 homicides in Cook County for the year, all but 14 of them inside the city.  London, according to the paper, “with a population three times that of Chicago, reported only thirty-three in 1910.”  There were more murders in November than any November in the preceding eight years.  The coroner’s jury determined that 168 of the 297 homicides could be classified as murder.  Of that number only 32 people had been convicted.  The article states, “For years the public and the police have been talking about curbing the use of revolvers and the carrying of concealed weapons.”  In fact, an ordinance was passed several years earlier that required dealers to report the sale of firearms and owners to register weapons that they purchased, but the ordinance was never seriously enforced and was repealed during 1912.  Pessimistically, the paper observes, “If history repeats itself, it is a safe guess that the police will have the murderer and the evidence to convict him in about 20 per cent of the cases.”

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